Theatre Hub

Homophobic Mob Attacks Gay Organization In Rome, Throws Excrement At Offices

Di gay project rome

Southern Rome’s Di'Gay Project (DGP) was attacked Wednesday night when an anti-gay mob threw excrement at the organization’s offices. DGP provides community, youth and cultural services to the LGBT community.

Earlier this month, Mayor of Rome Ignazio Marino promised the approval of a Civil Union Register for same-sex couples and registration of overseas same-sex marriages.

According to Italian news website The Local, the homophobic gang, estimated to be aged between 15 and 40, also threw wooden boxes and vegetables as people inside rehearsed for a theatre performance.

Before running away, gang members were heard to shout "we give you fire, you deserve to die.”

Speaking to Corriere Della Sera, politican and honorary president of DGP Imma Battaglia said that the attack is part of a recent increase in homophobia that must be addressed. 

Battaglia has since requested a meeting with the mayor to discuss solutions to increasing homophobia in the city.

Actress and director Maria Chiara Cucinotta said:

"We have not suffered physical or structural damage, but certainly in the heart, yes."

Performers vowed to return to rehearsals last night.

Shia LaBeouf Arrested at 'Cabaret' Performance, Allegedly Called Officer a 'Fag'


Actor Shia LaBeouf was arrested during a performance of Cabaret on Broadway last night and escorted from the theater in handcuffs.

Broadway World reports that LaBeouf was disruptive and smoking during the performance.

ABC News adds:

Inside the precinct, LaBeouf was ranting and rambling incoherently, police said, threatening the officers and using offensive language. He remained handcuffed until being fingerprinted. LaBeouf was wearing a blue T-shirt with a rip on the right shoulder. He also exhibited an unpleasant body odor, police told ABC News.

He was charged with two counts of disorderly conduct and one count of criminal trespassing. An additional count of harassment was later added, police said.

The New York Post has more, reporting that LaBeouf "was slapping people on the behind and in the back of the head" and later allegedly used an anti-gay slur against cops:

At the Midtown-North station house, he allegedly became belligerent, demanding the cuffs be removed.
“F–k you. I’ll f–k you up!” the 28-year-old LaBeouf said, according to the sources.

Cops decided to not take the cuffs off the agitated “Transformers” star, and he allegedly started spitting, prompting officers to put a face mask on him.

LaBeouf then unloaded on the arresting officer and used a ­homophobic slur.

“I have millions and millions of dollars and attorneys,” the ­unhinged actor said. “I’m going to ruin your career,” he added, then allegedly called the cop a “f-g.”

Image below of LaBeouf's arrest:

Tupac Musical ‘Holler If Ya Hear Me’ Opens on Broadway: REVIEW



When you imagine what the words ‘Tupac musical’ could mean, you might think back on the colorful verve of ‘90s music videos, the rags-to-riches stories that dominate their soundtracks and find yourself hoping for a big-ticket nostalgic trip down the mean streets of L.A. You’ll find precious few of your (modest) hopes realized in Holler If Ya Hear Me, the surprisingly stagnant and flimsily strung together musical that opened on Broadway last week at the Palace Theatre.

Holler2Rather than trace the iconic rapper’s rise to fame and tragic early death, the show’s creators choose to tell an original story (that’s anything but) about a thinly sketched ensemble of characters struggling against poverty, violence and racial tensions in their unspecified Midwestern city.

In the tradition of jukebox musicals like campy Mamma Mia!, the primary objective of Holler’s watery plot is to string together as many Tupac songs as possible in its two-and-a-half hour run time. But in place of the former show’s knowing wink (or any other gesture of the kind), the material is presented here with an earnestness that only amplifies its abundant clichés.

Holler1Shakur’s songs have a singular sort of gritty, poetic eloquence, many of them broaching the same theme from different angles: man vs. the system—the struggle, its cyclical nature, the impossibility of escape and inevitability of violence. While they add up to a thrilling body of work, combining them into a dynamic story proves difficult. Not only do many of the show’s numbers feel like the same sentiments repeated multiple times over, their quick-spinning rhymes do little to move the meandering plot forward, such as it is.

That story, by book writer Todd Kreidler, concerns John (skillful vocal stylist Saul Williams), who has just been released from prison (on what charges it’s unclear). His ex-best bud Vertus (a moderately hunky Christopher Jackson) seems to have moved in on John’s sometime girlfriend Corinne (Saycon Sengbloh) while John was locked up. In an early scene, Vertus finds out his brother’s been shot and the rest of the story hinges on a vague desire for revenge shared by the whole neighborhood. Tonya Pinkins plays Vertus' mother, a character whose backstory is mined wholly from the song "Dear Mama."

While its music is filled with lyrics about drugs, sex and violence, Holler is remarkably sober and chaste—its characters hardly reach first base and there’s not  a drop of booze in sight until its final scenes—further accentuating how disjointed its songs are from the story they’re supposedly telling. Still, the talented cast does its best to create the world of those songs, and comes closest to doing so in dance.

Holler3Choreography by Broadway vet Wayne Cilento packs the sort of visceral, kinetic energy the show otherwise lacks, making a much-anticipated “California Love” the evening’s clear highlight. But its dance breaks are too sporadic to lift the show from its drudgery and most numbers peter out with little flourish.

Tony winning director Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun) has a glittering track record of skillfully told narratives of black America, and Shakur’s pop poetry would seem like an exciting voice to share with Broadway audiences—and in many ways, it is. Perhaps it’s to his credit that Leon doesn’t offer an elaborate production, as Tupac’s lyrics carry powerful messages on their own. But their restless artistry is blunted here, and the larger story they come together to tell doesn’t resonate as the songs do on their own. 

Recent theatre features...
Trans Rockers, English Gents and LBJ: 2014 Tony Awards Roundup
David Byrne and Fatboy Slim Musical ‘Here Lies Love’ Returns Off Broadway: REVIEW
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Alan Cumming and Michelle Williams Open On Broadway in ‘Cabaret:’ REVIEW

Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar (photos:joan marcus)

Broadway Bares Hauls In Over $1.3 Million for Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS - VIDEO

Alex Minsky

This weekend marked the 24th annual edition of the long running Broadway Baresthe take-it-off burlesque show fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS - one of the leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS organizations.

Rio_francoFeaturing performances by Alan Cumming, war veteran-turned-underwear model Alex Minsky, and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winner Bianca Del Rio giving actor James Franco a “full cavity search”, the rock-and-roll themed Broadway Bares: Rock Hard! altogether raised $1,386,105. 

Playbill reports:

The 75-minute show opened with two dads (Matthew Saldivar and Joey Taranto) complaining that they had been dragged to a One Direction concert by their daughters and reminiscing about the great old days of rock. Through the magic of Broadway Bares, they were whisked back in time to watch performances inspired by the likes of Elvis, Michael Jackson, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin and Prince, with their memories putting the sex back in sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.

To date, Broadway Bares has raised more than $11.3 million in the fight against AIDS.

Check out more photos from the night, including a video of Bianca Del Rio getting up-close with Franco’s exposed behind, AFTER THE JUMP

[photos by Kevin Thomas Garcia via Facebook]

Continue reading "Broadway Bares Hauls In Over $1.3 Million for Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS - VIDEO" »

'True Blood' Stage Musical in the Works


True Blood is ending this season but it may find life after death as a stage musical, the Guardian reports:

Nathan Barr, speaking at the premiere of the final season, said that he'd pitched the idea for a musical version to the show's creator Alan Ball. Barr has composed the instrumental music for the show's seven seasons, and created some sample versions of musical numbers along with British actor Stephen Moyer who plays the vampiric lead in the show.

"I think we're really going to try to return to the roots of the show," Barr said, admitting "there are no guarantees" that it would ever reach the stage. "But I think the direction we're heading in is really exciting."

Ball must finish his Chippendales film first however, and is also planning a film about a male genie called I Dream of Gene, the Guardian adds.

Trans Rockers, English Gents and LBJ: 2014 Tony Awards Roundup



Between Hugh Jackman’s dance belt (or lack thereof) and a performance by Neil Patrick Harris in drag teasing everyone from Sting to Samuel L. Jackson, it was a mighty gay time at the Tony Awards Sunday night, which saw downtown cult favorite Hedwig and the Angry Inch win big for Best Revival of a Musical and collect acting prizes for its stars Mr. Harris and Lena Hall.

GGLMBway0858rComedic romp A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder was the evening’s other big musical winner, taking home both Best Musical and Best Director as well as awards for its book and costumes. Honors for the only nominated musical with an entirely original score proved affection among voters for well executed, traditional-leaning musical theatre.

Otherwise honors were mostly spread among a number of shows, with several big acting wins going to plays and musicals that were unrecognized in other categories. For her star-making turn as Carole King in Beautiful, Best Actress in a musical went to Jessie Mueller, who made history both by performing with Ms. King on stage and breaking into the running man with Mr. Jackman in the aisle. The Best Actress in a play award went to Audra McDonald, who also made history by becoming the first actress to win in all four acting categories, for her turn Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill.

A RAISIN IN THE SUN cap 1431_BThis spring’s acclaimed revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun was another big winner, taking home the award for Best Revival of a Play, plus nods to director Kenny Leon and featured actress Sophie Okonedo (though Denzel Washington, not nominated for his work in the show, was nowhere in sight). Raisin’s strongest competitor in the revival category, Shakespeare’s Globe production of Twelfth Night, took home a featured actor award for Mark Rylance as Lady Olivia.

Best Actor in the play category was another made famous on the small screen, Bryan Cranston for his portrayal of LBJ in political drama All the Way, which also took home the award for Best Play. A new approach to presenting that award, with each of the nominated playwrights introducing his work, inadvertently served to highlight the lack of diversity in the category. While women were underrepresented in creative categories across the board (particularly compared to last season), African American artists were very well recognized, including James Monroe Iglehart for his athletic performance as Aladdin’s genie.

After_Midnight3Tony host Hugh Jackman showcased his song and dance skills throughout, hoofing with the cast of nominated musical After Midnight (a winner for Best Choreography by Warren Carlyle), and heading into the audience to serenade the Best Actress nominees. But maybe his most rousing (and certainly most bizarre) number of the night teamed Mr. Jackman with T.I. and LL Cool J in a rap rendition of a song from The Music Man (maybe there’s a revival on the horizon?).

It was one of several attempts to draw more viewers to the telecast and potential ticket buyers to Broadway and future Broadway, including shows still in the works like Sting’s The Last Ship and a musical adaptation of Finding Neverland (which won’t be on Broadway for two years, and is not very likely to star Jennifer Hudson). Multiple shout-outs to leading regional theatres and about the importance of teachers, mentors and arts education also struck an inviting chord—though perhaps no one was more inviting than Alan Cumming singing the opening number to Cabaret. Hugh Jackman was really gunning for that nipple glitter trend.

Check out a list of all the winners HERE.

Recent theatre features...
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David Byrne and Fatboy Slim Musical ‘Here Lies Love’ Returns Off Broadway: REVIEW
Hollywood Snubs and Men in Tights: Rounding Up the 2014 Tony Award Nominations
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Daniel Radcliffe Opens on Broadway in ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan:’ REVIEW

Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar (photos:joan marcus, matthew murphy, brigitte lacombe)



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